Include RHS Students and Their Families
in Decision on Where Graduation Is Held
This letter was written to the Rye City School Board and forwarded to the paper by the author for publication.
I am writing in response to Principal Taylor’s letter to the community regarding the “decision” to move the 2020 Rye High graduation to the Capitol Theatre. I am well aware that I am not the first parent to address this with you, as the entire community is incredibly upset by the extremely poor plan that has been created. I know other parents have come up with a number of other viable solutions, all of which make perfect sense to me, including having the students graduate before their four-week internships begin, moving graduation up one or two weeks so as not to conflict with the turf field redo, and moving locations to somewhere else in Rye. I am sure none of these is perfect either and that some conflict will no doubt arise that you may have already considered.
I implore you to think outside the box and consider your community. These are our children, and the decision about where they graduate must include the students and their families. I strongly believe this is not a decision that only you make for us. We have a say as well. I grew up in Rye, have lived here most of my life, and graduated from Rye High School, as did many other parents whose students will graduate in the spring. This generation of parents may be one of the last that can even afford to live and raise children here, and that alone, is a sad reality. My late husband also graduated from Rye. Our daughter was our only child together, and she never had a chance to know him. Going to Rye High has been one of the vital ways she feels a connection to him and to this community. It is so important to our family (as well as my late husband’s family who also still live here) that she carries on the tradition of graduating at the high school or at least in Rye itself. It is even more important that our families be able to attend the ceremony in person. I think you can appreciate why this is so meaningful to us. If you truly care about your students and the community, you will reconsider your choices.
I am requesting a meeting with you to discuss this further and come up with a plan that makes sense for ALL of us.
- Holly O’Neill-Melville